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Photography by Kevin Kubota and Carolyn Simancik

Catching the Title by Two Feet

 

DT Shesa Dun Whiz snagged the 2015 Farnam high-point senior horse title with nearly 300 points in senior heeling. 

 

DT SHESA DUN WHIZ IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL HIGH-POINT HORSE. She’s exceptional in one event and also sometimes shows in others. Her class is heeling, and she’s great at it – so great that she won the high-point title with 97 percent of the points in one class. She, of course, won the high-point senior heeling horse title, as well. Breeder and owner Dean Tuftin of DT Horses, formerly Canyon Horse Sales LLC, says “Roxy” has always been a good rope horse.

 

Solid Start

She’s out of one of the original mares dean started his program with, Kings Sly Sugar, who has been a great producer, and by the Hollywood Dun It grandson WSR Hesa Dun Lena.

 

“We started her here at the ranch and roped on her for about two years. She was quiet, easy going and had a good stop,” Dean says. 

 

He sent her to rope-horse trainer Shawn Grant of Scottsdale, Arizona, with the plan to sell her. After all, that’s what Dean’s business is – making and selling rope horses. But Shawn called and told Dean he should reconsider.

 

“Shawn said he thought I should keep her and show her myself. She was that good,” Dean says. 

 

Roxy hadn’t been back at DT Horses in Bend, Oregon, long when she colicked. It didn’t look good, but Roxy survived colic surgery. 

 

“She had four months off to recover,” Dean explains. “I started her back and literally the first day I roped on her, she felt better than she ever had before.” 

 

Dean was impressed and called AQHA Professional Horseman J.D. Yates to tell J.D. he had one for him to show. 

 

J.D. didn’t have her long before he had a buyer for her from Brazil. 

 

“She sells herself,” J.D. says. “She’s a pretty little dun mare that can really stop.”

 

In September 2014, Dean somewhat reluctantly sold the mare to Marcus Vinicius Orefice Jr., whose plan was for J.D. to show her some then ship her to Brazil to breed. J.D. campaigned her for Marcus right away, racking up hundreds of points in senior heeling. AQHA Professional Horseman Jay Wadhams and Dustin Rogers earned points on her as well in 2015.

 

Coming Home

AT THE SAME TIME DEAN WAS EXPANDING HIS BREEDING program and knew that Roxy was a special mare. At the 2015 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show, where Roxy earned a top-10 finish in senior heeling, Dean bought her back.

 

“(Marcus) had decided not to take her to Brazil, so it worked out really good to put her in Dean’s broodmare band,” J.D. says. “She’s just a phenomenal horse. Again, she sells herself basically.”

 

As the year came to a close, J.D. was surprised to find that Roxy was tied for high-point senior horse with The Immortal. 

 

“We went up against a really good horse and a good friend of mine in (AQHA Professional Horsewoman) Leslie Lange (who was campaigning The Immortal). We were within two or three points toward end of the year,” J.D. says. “We talked about it at the World Show in November. I have the utmost respect for Leslie. We talked about it, and I knew I was going to go to the Tulsa Holiday Circuit, (which is between Christmas and New Year’s). She was considering hauling to Florida but decided against it. I wish we could have been co-champions but it worked out for me. 

 

“The horses deserve it and the owners deserve it,” J.D. adds. “I love my horse and I know Leslie loves hers. I got to thinking maybe I shouldn’t have went (to Tulsa), but my job is to do what the owner wants me to do.”

 

Roxy had a great show and clinched the Farnam high-point senior horse title with 315 points to The Immortal’s 303. 

 

Right now, Dean is undecided on how much Roxy will be shown in 2016, but one thing is certain: She is headed to the breeding shed. The plan is to breed her this year to Dean’s stallions Hickory Holly Time (One Time Pepto-Hickory Holly Cee by Docs Hickory) and Metallic CD (Metallic Cat-Sweet Little CD by CD Olena).

 

“I think she will make a really good broodmare,” J.D. says. “I think they will have a phenomenal baby that can really do some things. You don’t know until you start riding the babies, but she’s the kind to go to the broodmare pen.”

 

Roxy might not be the usual high-point horse, but her ability earned her the title just the same. J.D., who has won many high-point titles, says she’s just an easy horse to win on.

 

“My intention wasn’t to go win the all-around, but she excelled so much in that one event,” J.D. says. “I didn’t haul her to that many shows, but she’s just exceptionally good, so when I caught, she was a winner.” 

 

Sara Gugelmeyer is a special contributor to the Journal. To comment, write to aqhajrnl@aqha.org.

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